I'm sorry about it all: the more than a few wrongful killings
of young African Americans by white police, about Baltimore
aflame, about the necessity and embarrassment of calling in
the National Guard to restore and maintain order there.
But I do have a serious bone to pick with you, sir:
you were wrong to use the "N" word on CNN when the
young white interviewer asked you if "thug" isn't the proper
word to use regarding the rioting and looting there. She may/
may not have had an agenda, as you very confrontationally
and defensively implied, inflamed by being lectured to a
bit about right vs. wrong, impelling you to employ that
nastiest of racial expletives...and it wasn't OK because you
also are "Black".
First, a little lexicography: the original "thugs" (thugees) were
roving bands of indigenous gangs engaged in murder and
mayhem in the India of the 1800s. The modern meaning of
"thug" has come to define criminality perpetrated by young
toughs wearing hoods, as well as mob enforcers. Short of
murder, "thug" does describe the riotous, arson fire-setting,
property-smashing behavior by Baltimore's bad boys of the
week. (--Yes, "boys" are any human males under the age of
18 in my book.) Mr. Stokes, if you don't have an adequate
understanding of this well in hand, you ought to resign from
the Baltimore City Council.
The "N" word is a degrading, unjust pejorative branding
anyone of color, whether law-abiding or not, male, female
or child. Only a racist (and yes, there are still very many
here at home and elsewhere) would use such a term to
explain what went wrong this April in Baltimore.
Thugs, though, can be Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian
(let's not forget China's infamous Tongs), African and
African American; they are usually under the age of 45
and reasonably physically fit. Whether the mob action
happens after a major sports event or any other occasion,
it's always wrong, irrespective of the racial makeup
of those involved.
But I see you do understand, Mr. Stokes, a sad truth
about our society: we never left the Civil War, trading
troop action for uncivil, unkind behavior of every
stripe: murder, trafficking, kidnapping, sexism, racism,
ageism, class warfare/elitism, etc. Ancient atavisms
antecede even the days of officially-sanctioned slavery,
which still occurs.
Only when almost all of us unite to do away with
all injustice will we truly achieve Civilization.
In the meantime, please do not equate thug behavior
with the "N" word--you aren't helping; you're
just plain wrong.